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  • Being chosen as a best man or a maid of honor is a significant and meaningful honor. Those roles have evolved over the years, but these special participants must still performsome of the traditional duties of the past, including serving as the official witnesses to the ceremony. The following is a rundown of the various duties maids of honor and best men are now expected to handle once theyre chosen for these distinguished honors.

    Prior to the weddingBefore the wedding takes place,

    the maid of honor will closely assistthe bride-to-be with many of the important decisions related to the look and the feel of the wedding. She typically accompanies the bride to dress shops to select gowns for the bride and bridesmaids. Much in the same manner, the best man will assistthe groom-to-be with choosing tuxedoes or suits and also with coordinating with the ushers to ensure they know when to go for fittings.

    Although the best man will serve as a sounding board for the groom,traditionally the bride and her bridesmaids have taken on the majority of the wedding planning, so the maid of honor can expect to play a larger role than the best man. The maid of honor may be asked to delegate certain assignments, such as helping to find wedding vendors or addressing invitations. She may go with the bride for makeup and hairstyle trials. Together with the bridesmaids, she will plan a bridal shower party and a bachelorette excursion. She may select a wedding gift for the couple and present it on behalf of all the wedding attendants.


    Roles of the best man and maid of honor

    The best man will coordinate the bachelor party and may be asked to assist the groom with selecting a honeymoon site or to come along to book the trip.

    Wedding dayOn the day of the wedding, the

    maid of honor and the best man will act as a support system for the bride and groom. The maid of honor will help the bride get dressed and help iron out any mini-emergencies that should crop up. The best man will help ensure all of the ushers are dressed and get the groom to the wedding on time.

    During the ceremony, the maid of honor will hold the brides bouquet while she participates in the wedding.The best man will keep the rings safe until they are needed. The maid of honor also will help adjust the brides train and veil as she sits and stands during the ceremony. Both will sign the marriage certificate as witnesses.

    At the reception, the best man is expected to give a toast and the maid of honor may share some words as well. She also may accompany the bride to the restroom and assist her with managing the gown.

    After the weddingThe best man will be in charge of

    returning the tuxedoes to the rental shop, if necessary. He also may drive the newly married couple to the airport so they can depart on their honeymoon.

    The maid of honor will assist the bride in changing out of her gown and into her travel clothes. Oftentimes the maid of honor takes the gown to the cleaners in the days following the ceremony so the dress can be preserved.

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  • bridalA wedding is a once-in-a-life -

    time event for many couples, so brides and grooms wish for the event to be momentous and memorable. As such, couples are increasingly integrating personal nuances into their ceremonies and receptions to tailor weddings to their unique visions. The desire to include personalized wedding vows continues to be a popular trend.

    If you are considering person -alized wedding vows, first realize that it may not be a simple task.Thats because you want the mes -sage conveyed to be dear to your heart, and that can be chal -lenging when faced with the pres -sures and planning of the rest of the wedding. That isnt to say that writing your own vows is impos -sible. Here are some guidelines for personalizing your ceremony with your own sentiments.

    Schedule time for writing.Amid the bustle of dress fittings and interviews with photog -raphers, it can be easy to put off the important task of writing vows for another day. But as any great writer can attest, it takes writing -- and rewriting -- to achieve a fin -ished product you can be proud of. Give the task of writing your vows your undivided attention.Mark it in on your calendar or set a reminder on your computer justas you would any other appoint -ment.

    Be aware of ceremony guidelines. It is best to check with your officiant and confirm that personalized wedding vows are allowed. During civil ceremonies its often acceptable to customize vows as you see fit. However, dur -ing religious ceremonies there may be lines of scripture that need to be read or certain pas -sages required. Before you spend hours working on the task, be sure that it is allowed and that your spouse and you are on the same page.

    Jot down your feelings.Answer some questions about what marriage means to you and how you feel about your spouse.Try to avoid trite sayings and think from your heart and personal experiences. Think about what is the most important thing you

    Tips for writing your own wedding vows

    want to promise to your future partner. These notes can serve as the starting points for the actual vows.

    Read inspirational writings.Perhaps there is an author or a poet who inspires you? You can quote certain writers in your vows or let the tone of their works help shape the words of your vows.There also are suggested wed -ding readings and other quotes about marriage readily available at the library or with a quicksearch online.

    Decide on a tone. Although the day is based on love and affection, you may not feel com -fortable spouting words of ado -ration in front of friends and fam -ily. Feel free to tap into your unique personality. Humor can be used if it aligns with the way you normally express your affections.Be sure to weave this tone into more traditional passages to cre -ate a cohesive expression of your feelings.

    Establish an outline. Put together all of the words and phrases youve jotted down into an outline to help you organize the flow of the vows, using these words as a blueprint for the vows and building upon them. Make sure the vows will be concise. Aim for your entire speech to be around 1 minute in length to keep everyone engaged and the cere -mony moving along.

    Put everything together. Draft your vows and then practice them by reading out loud. You want to avoid long sentences or anything that trips you up.Although large words may sound impressive, they could make the vows seem too academic and not necessarily heartfelt. Enlist the help of a friend or two to act as your audience to see if the vows sound good and are easily understandable.

    Writing your own vows can be a way to include personal expres -sions of love into a couples wed -ding day. Public speaking is sel -dom easy, nor is finding the per -fect words to convey feelings about a future spouse. However,with some practice and inspi -ration, anyone can draft person -alized vows.

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